On Monday, we posted about Michael Annett's DWI arrest Sunday morning, in which he had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.32 according to the police report.
However, the DWI incident was Annett's second major traffic incident in seven months.
On Sunday morning, police say that Annett told them that the reason he ran into the car in front of him was that he was texting on his phone. The phone is also cited as the reason that Annett rear-ended a car in July.
"On the cell phone" and "could not stop in time" are the same words used on a DMV crash report with Michael Annett's name on it from July, 2010 on the Brookshire Freeway near Graham Street in Charlotte.
It says Annett rear-ended a car, then that car rear-ended the car in front of it.
The victim is a college student in West Virginia.
Her dad says Annett was texting and driving, never hit the brakes, totaled his daughter's car and she needed physical therapy.
There's no precedent for NASCAR to take ay official action on the matter, given Annett hasn't been convicted of anything. But the lack of conviction of a DWI doesn't overshadow the fact that Annett has been in major traffic incidents recently in which police have said that his stated reason for them was his distraction by phone and Sunday's accident was in a RWR vehicle.
Does he deserve to keep his ride at Daytona?
Annett called Sunday's accident a "life-changing" one in a release. And the tone of the release essentially admitted that Annett had been drinking behind the wheel. A DWI conviction in North Carolina carries a mandatory one-year license suspension, so it's very possible that Annett could be driving in the Nationwide Series at some point in 2011 without a driver's license.
NASCAR says that it is still "gathering facts," but given the facts known at the present time, why should NASCAR or Rusty Wallace Racing wait until an official conviction -- if there is one -- to take any action? Daytona is the biggest race after all, and does any other race down the line send a bigger message?